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Family Law
Wayne State University Law School
Faupel, Marian

I.       WHAT IS A FAMILY?
A.    Baker v. State (10)
1.      benefits of marriage
o   right to claims against will
o   right to receive portion of estate of spouse who dies intestate
o   right to workers comp survivor benefits, spousal benefits, insurance
o   joint ownership of property
B.     Braschi v. Stahl (15)
1.      2 men living together, one died, landlord wants to kick other one out so can make rent stabilized instead of rent controlled
2.      issue is whether Braschi counts as family member under NY statute
3.      court uses functional approach, looks at purpose of statute (to protect tenants)
4.      this was clearly Braschi’s home and so would be unfair to kick him out even tho not technically family
C.     generally children looked at as property of parents – we have rights based system as opposed to children’s interest
D.    Belle Terre v. Boraas (28)
1.      zoning ordinance: no more than two unrelated adults can live together b/c wanted to deter students from living there
2.      hippie commune said violated freedom of association, ct said can restrict occupancy
3.      Moore v. Cleveland (1118) – couple and their kids also lived with grandson and this violated zoning ordinance – const precludes city from defining a family in this way
E.     Penobscot v. City of Brewer (32)
1.      zoning variance for group home for retarded ppl
2.      define family as group doing their own cooking and living together as separate housekeeping unit in domestic r-ship based upon domestic bonds as distinguished from boarding house, hotel, or frat
3.      but ppl at group home lived there at most for 2 years, didn’t establish domestic bonds
F.      Glassboro v. Vallorosi (34)
1.      10 students living in family house but this is defined as a family unit b/c lived there for duration of undergrad and had intention to do so, operating as unit for cooking and paying bills
G.    Schneider – Channeling Function in Family Law (47)
1.      protective function: abuse, neglect
2.      facilitative function: organize lives in ways ppl prefer
3.      channeling function: only helps ppl facilitate if ppl want to organize their lives in the way that society has decided it should be organized
4.      arbitral function: adjudicates conflicting claims
5.      law creates/supports social institutions which are thought to bring desirable ends
6.      fam law channels ppl to marry and have kids – but don’t we already want to do that?

II.    MARRYING
A.    RESTRICTIONS ON WHO MAY MARRY
1.      Loving v. Virginia (58)
o   statute prohibiting interracial marriage is unconst
o   state argued that not discrim based on race b/c everyone punished equally
o   but any crime that depends on race of ∆ has to implicate equal protection clause
o   race is a suspect classification (classifies by race) and not narrowly tailored to meet any state goal
o   in addition marriage is a fundamental right
2.      Equal Protection Doctrine
o   rational basis test: whether leg is rationally related to permissible state goal (outcome determinative test)
o   Carolene footnote: deferential standard of review may not apply where one of 2 things occurs: where classification of ppl in statute involves invidious classification that discrim against discrete and insular mi

father)
o   biological father has fund right to associate with children when participated in raising child and supported child
o   footnote 6 is minority view that when trying to determine whether fund right, define narrowly as possible and look at history to see if historically fund right
o   Scalia classifies Michael as adulterous father – he gets no parental rights
o   Scalia here really concerned with protecting marital unit and Michael is a threat to it (once you marry, family unit is protected form outside interference)
B.     INCEST
1.      Singh v. Singh (83)
o   marry then find out they are niece and uncle by half-blood, want to stay married
o   statute says uncles and nieces can’t get married but not half blood ones
o   historically, prohibited form marrying someone related to by affinity (marriage) or consanguinity (blood) – more b/c of social r-ships and then became taboo b/c of genetic defects
o   incest taboo is to allow ppl to have non-sexual relations with ppl of opposite sex that are close and affectionate – this changes from one society to another
2.      Back v. Back (89)
o   marriage btw man and daughter of his wife by a former marriage is not void
o   r-ship by affinity terminates with termination of the marriage which gave rise to the relationship either by death or divorce